As children begin to get back-to-school vaccinations, doctors are warning parents that the summertime outbreak of the new H1N1 flu virus may be an indicator of bad things to come this fall.
Influenza is normally not a summer threat, but with the infamous H1N1 swine flu still infecting people in record numbers, many are concerned about what may happen this fall when a Tamiflu-resistant, anti-viral strain may surface in wide numbers.
There are currently 218 confirmed cases of H1N1 in Tarrant County and another 319 in Dallas County -- but doctors said the real numbers of infected people may be well into the thousands.
When it comes time for flu vaccinations, at risk people (the elderly, children and pregnant women) need to be the first in line.
"Right now we are looking at pregnant females to get the flu vaccine first followed by people that take care of children younger than 6 months," said Dr. John Carlo with the Dallas County Health Department.
Health officials said Texans may need three shots this year to combat the H1N1 virus. The first, the seasonal vaccine, should be ready in September. The second and third are a booster and a vaccine for the H1N1, which should be ready in mid-October.
If you don't want to wait that long and are feeling a little brave, Fort Worth-based Benchmark Research is conducting clinical trials on an H1N1 vaccine and paying patients $200 to $600 depending on the study, the Dallas Morning News reported.
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Additionally, the Pan-American Health Organization announced Monday they had found a Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 strain along the Texas-Mexico border.
PAHO said one patient was treated with Zanamivir, an antiviral, and another was given no alternative medication. Both patients survived.